Family Paradise at the Grecotel Marine Palace & Aqua Park

Family Paradise at the Grecotel Marine Palace & Aqua Park

Being the father of two young and excitable children, I know the pressure of finding a day out or a family holiday that satisfies the kids‘ needs by keeping them entertained, safe and happy. I also know that feeling of relief when a good choice has been made and I as a parent can relax and be satisfied.

Therefore, my parents' senses were on alert when visiting the Grecotel Marine Palace and Aqua Park. Situated on the northern coast of Crete, the one-hour drive from Heraklion airport is perhaps just at the limits of most children’s acceptable transfer time. Any longer and the gradually louder statement of ‘I need the toilet’ would probably ensue. The drive along the coastline is gorgeous and as you approach the resort you will notice how you leave the motorway and drive along a series of quiet local roads before you finally arrive at the resort -giving peace of mind that this is a peaceful and secluded resort, not one surrounded by heavy traffic.

On your entrance into the lobby, you are immediately struck by the traditional yet contemporary feel of the Marine Palace, with wooden beams and decorative wooden palm trees complimenting the large open windows to the front of the lobby, which look out onto one of the six pools that the resort has to offer, and beyond that, a spectacular, elevated view of the sea and resort beach. The resort beach is a small but sandy blue flag awarded beach, a perfect little cove with which the kids can experience the sea - and for the older kids amongst us, the beach comes equipped with a host of water sports equipment for rental including windsurfing and canoes.

Grecoland Club provides games, competitions, culinary lessons and creative activities six days per week for children aged four to twelve. In contrast, Grecoteens provides sports, team games, water activities, tournaments and entertainment activities for teenagers between thirteen and sixteen.

However, getting the children to attend the Grecoland club might be difficult due to the Kingdom of Poseidon Aqua Park. This mega park contains aqua towers, rides and waterslides, and a children’s splash play area for younger guests. A haven for children, I can only imagine the difficulty in getting the kids to leave and get ready for dinner. “Last minute and we are going,” he desperately pleads.

Are you feeling tired thinking about it all? No problem, dump the kids with your partner and escape to the spa which comes fully equipped with a seawater pool, hydro massage, sauna, and steam room. At this point, after pleading with the kids to leave the aqua park and dragging your partner out of their meditative state at the spa I guess you are feeling hungry – luckily you have a choice of five restaurants, the Marine Palace restaurant, the Marin Bay Club, the Trattoria Di Casa Marina, Big Blue Greek Taverna and Antikristo traditional. While the quality of the food on offer and the surroundings in which you eat are beautiful, your kids won’t care. They will simply be ecstatic to know they have access to free-flow pizza, burgers and ice cream throughout the day. Whether you choose to disclose this to them is of course your personal choice as a parent.

There is a choice of six bars across the resort serving a selection of wines, beers, cocktails and coffee but hopefully, by now your kids are strongly stating how they are not at all sleepy – with their eyes half closed. This is a resort built for families and as such there is a great spread of family accommodation, providing rooms with closed-door sleeping spaces at the back of the room giving you a moment of peace and privacy to enjoy with your partner, safe in the knowledge that the children can’t move out on to the balcony without you knowing.

While my visit to the Grecotel Marine Palace and Aqua Park was a very quick one I will most certainly be returning with my children aged two and nine as this is a resort that ticks all the boxes – great location, spacious rooms, quality food, even better service, and most importantly, it promises a holiday that the kids will love and when the kids are in that state that is when happy family memories are created.  

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James and Tuya Johnson

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